Mechanical selection of chiral crystals
Collège de France - 11 place M. Berthelot, 75231 Paris Cedex 15, France
Accepted: 13 April 1999
A macroscopic chiral crystal (of size larger than one micron), slipping over an inclined solid support, should glide in a direction which differs slightly from the axis of maximum slope. This effect is linked to two factors: a) the crystal is firmly oriented, through the competition between weight forces and friction forces; b) there should exist a preferred direction of slip on the contact facet of the crystal. Similar effects are also expected with a crystal floating on a liquid surface, and driven horizontally by an external force (e.g., an air jet): here, the shape of the wet facet should control the preferred direction of slip.
PACS: 91.65.-n – Geophysical aspects of geology, mineralogy, and petrology / 81.40.Pq – Friction, lubrication, and wear / 92.40.Gc – Erosion and sedimentation
© EDP Sciences, 1999